A bullet proof door at Jewish Family Services Metro West replaced a glass entryway.

happening today:

10:45 a.m. | Gov. Maura Healey visits the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Visit and holds a press conference joined by LG Driscoll, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Jen Daloisio, and local officials. | 4 Wright Street, New Bedford

1 p.m. | Gov. Maura Healey visits Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute with LG Driscoll, Secretary Tepper, Woods Hole staff, and local officials | Smith Lab, 86 Water Street, Woods Hole

9. a.m. | Massachusetts Port Authority Board meets | One Harborside Dr., East Boston

10 a.m. | Senate President Spilka speaks to Jewish Family Services of MetroWest about state support for security at synagogues and faith organizations. | 475 Franklin St., Framingham (Closed press)

10:30. a.m. | Greater Boston Interfaith Organization holds event to urge state officials "to face the housing crisis head-on." Organizers say they plan to bring more than 300 people and that clergy members collectively feel "we have faith, but we have lost our patience!" | State House steps

10:30 a.m. | Boston Mayor Wu will make an announcement regarding efforts to increase energy efficiency in buildings throughout Boston. The mayor's office says the announcement "will expand upon Mayor Wu's commitment to a clean energy transition and help deliver a Green New Deal for Bostons communities." | Brian Honan Apartments, 43 Everett Street Courtyard, Allston

11 a.m. | Congressman Moulton is on "Radio Boston" talking about recent bank failures, and his refiled bill to provide Black veterans of World War II and their descendants with G.I. Bill benefits | WBUR-FM 90.9

Massachusetts has a proud history of firsts. 

The first public school started here, the first American university, the first Thanksgiving. 

The first subway system — OK, some may be inclined to skip over that one as of late.  

But the state where leaders are quick to point to its long list of achievements in being the first, is edging up on a less palatable title.

In a time the Anti-Defamation League has described as an “all-time high” for white supremacist propaganda incidents nationwide, Massachusetts ranks second. Just behind Texas. 

Researchers recorded 465 incidents in Massachusetts in 2022, an increase of 72% over the previous year. Nearly half of the total 951 incidents across New England as a whole. 

It’s a climate that’s put faith organizations — and the Jewish community in particular — on edge. 

Jewish people across the U.S. are increasingly concerned with growing antisemitism following white nationalist actions in Charlottesville, Virginia and attacks on synagogues like the one in Pittsburgh in 2018.

In the Northeast, 46% of Jews reported feeling less secure about their status compared to a year ago, and more than 80% believe acts of antisemitism have risen in recent years.

Senate President Karen Spilka, who is herself Jewish, says “the has responded to these increased threats decisively.”

On Thursday she will travel to Jewish Family Services of MetroWest in Framingham to celebrate a state grant program designed to help at-risk nonprofits upgrade security at their buildings — including faith organizations of all creeds.

The program that launched in 2018 with $150,000 builds on a federal program that came about in the aftermath of 9/11 to extend resources past urban centers.

The Senate this year allocated $3 million to cover what Spilka called “vital security enhancements to houses of worship”

A $25,000 grant allowed JFS to replace glass entryway with a more secure, bullet-proof door, CEO Lino Covarrubias said.

Jewish Community Relations Council Executive Director Jeremy Burton, who has helped steward the program, ​​said improvements like the one at JFS “meet this moment of increasing need for security and increasing vulnerability and very real risk” that members of vulnerable communities are feeling and allow them to feel safe to gather as a community.

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MBTA watch 🚇

Days since the last derailment, fire, or critical incident: 0

Slow zones keep travel times at half speed along much of the subway lines.

Days without “normal” weekday subway service: 269

On Jan. 5, Gov. Healey pledged to hire a new MBTA Transportation Safety Chief within 60 days. It has now been 70 days without either being filled.

In the money: Betting big on sports so far

Massachusetts sportsbooks roped in more than $25.7 million in bets during the first full month of wagering on games, according to state regulators. But With Massachusetts in the early days of its most significant expansion of gambling in a decade, a researchers warn of impacts.

State House News | The Daily News

The business of creating housing near MBTA stations

As more than 170 Massachusetts cities and towns begin drafting proposals to comply with the state’s new multifamily housing requirements, city planners and business leaders say commercial real estate could play a significant role in those rezoning plans.

MetroWest Daily News | Commonwealth Magazine

DPU appointments could point to shift in MBTA oversight

A move to appoint commissioners focused on climate and energy rather than transportation signals a larger plan from Gov. Maura Healey to shift MBTA safety oversight from the DPU to a new state agency, watchdogs say

The Boston Herald

Hope for cutting the cost of health care, insiders say

Regulators and industry groups are hopeful lawmakers will prioritize action to slow down sharply rising costs for health care services, medications and other major needs after the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated long-standing pressure points and ripped open new affordability issues.

State House News

AG gets record number of housing complaints amid soaring costs

The attorney general’s office received more landlord-tenant related complaints than previously recorded, a recent 2022 Consumer Advocacy report published by Attorney General Andrea Campbell’s office cited.


BORG no more on campuses, admins plead

A “BORG,” or a “black out rage gallon,” has taken off on college campuses.

Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, Boston University is warning students to stay away from a viral TikTok college drinking trend that recently sent dozens of UMass Amherst students to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

The Boston Herald

Nip bottles on the ballot this spring on Martha’s Vineyard 

Voters in the only Martha’s Vineyard communities with liquor stores could ban the sale of single-serving booze bottles when they gather for town meetings this spring. Select boards in both Oak Bluffs and Edgartown have voted to advance single-serving bottle bans, which means the island could soon be entirely nip-free, just like neighboring Nantucket, where a ban took effect on Jan. 1.  

MV Times Vineyard Gazette

Wynn’s Everett purchase revives Revolution stadium speculation 

The parent company of Encore Boston Harbor has reached a deal to buy 45 acres of land along the Mystic River in Everett, a site long considered a potential home for the type of soccer-specific stadium the New England Revolution have been longing to build in the Boston area. But as Jon Chesto of the Globe reports, the parties in the deal are mum about what happens next and building anything except commercial port facilities would require the say-so of the legislature.

The Boston Globe

Status quo: Wellesley College won’t change admission policy after student vote  

Wellesley College President Paula Johnson says the school will maintain its current admissions policies despite a non-binding vote from the student body in favor of expanding it to include transgender men.

The Boston Globe | WBUR

Banks making headlines also made donations to Bay State Democrats 

The two U.S. banks that have been the subject of drastic federal regulatorly action this week are responsible for a number of donations to Democratic politicians in the state over the years, Matthew Medsger of the Herald reports, citing data from the Open Secrets group.

The Boston Herald

Erin Tiernan was a Editor and Author of MASSterList